Message to Lake County Residents:
As of last night, 22 people in Lake County have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, which includes one additional hospitalization for a total of six hospitalizations. You can track the statistics on a dedicated Florida Department of Health web page at bit.ly/39qZ0Ni.
These cases are spread fairly evenly throughout Lake County, with about half being related to known travel. It is important to know that the Health Department gives tests (and then re-tests) people who are in the circle or “ring” around each positive case, and people within this circle are quarantining for 14 days.
If data being collected and analyzed by the Health Department shows evidence of “community spread,” we will get that information out to the public so that additional protective measures can be taken in those locations.
Yesterday, we recommended that seniors and those who are most vulnerable stay at home and avoid all public places right now. That message is available at lakecountyfl.gov/COVID-19. A simple thing you may want to consider if you plan to be out in public (especially the grocery store) is to bring a yardstick – only half of the recommended separation distance between people – to help remind you and others to stay at a distance.
It is extremely important that you assume that everyone around you has the virus and that they have just touched door handles, shopping carts and anything else you may touch.
Lake County has chosen to reinforce personal compliance with CDC guidelines, and is asking residents to evaluate their own circumstances to determine whether sheltering at home and avoiding contact with others is the most prudent personal approach. Again, we are suggesting that seniors and those who are susceptible to illness stay at home and avoid contact with those who have been in public spaces.
Please keep in mind that nearby jurisdictions that have adopted “stay at home” orders have allowed numerous exceptions (going to the grocery store, pharmacy or other public places) that allow movement throughout the community. The absence of an “order” or the presence of an “order” does not change the fact that your best line of defense is limited contact with the public and strict adherence to CDC guidelines for distancing, washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and cleaning all surfaces and packaging materials.
Please know that you are not alone. There are volunteers and groups to help you run essential errands, and many retail establishments and pharmacies provide delivery service. This situation will pass, and we will return to “normal,” although I think we all realize that the new normal will be quite different than our old normal.
God bless you,
Leslie Campione, Chairman
Lake County Board of County Commissioners